Spelt Country Bread with Polenta and Roasted Garlic
In my last post, I experimented with spelt flour in a country bread. The flavor was very appealing with slight nutty undertones and the bread came out great! However, I'm never satisfied with my last bread and always want to push into new areas. So I decided to increase the spelt in the formula from 10% to 20%.
I didn't stop there however, as at the last second I decided to add in polenta. I've tried using polenta in bread before and liked the result. There are a few steps to take when adding polenta or any grain for that matter into a bread.
Soft grains and seeds need to be soaked in water first so that they don't steal water from the dough and change the dough composition. With a hard grain like polenta you may need to go a step further and either use a boiling water soaker or just cook the grain beforehand. I elected to cook the polenta as I didn't have time to let it soak in hot water for 2+ hours. Once the polenta was cooled off I simply hand mixed it into my dough.
The loaf was dusted with cornmeal to hint at the polenta on the inside.
But that is not all! Like I said, I had put polenta in bread before and liked it but this time I really wanted to try something new. I decided to consult The Flavor Bible which is one of my absolute favorite books for cooking and baking. It is essentially a list of just about every ingredient you can think of and then under each ingredient is another list of all the other things that pair well with that ingredient. I simply looked up polenta and found a number of options that would go great with it. I decided on roasted garlic.
The still-warm crumb.
If you've never added roasted garlic to your bread I highly recommend it! Think garlic bread except the garlic is built into the bread instead of spread on top. It created a wonderful aroma throughout the apartment while baking. How to add roasted garlic to bread you ask? Simply roast the garlic with your preferred method and allow to cool. Then chop up and mix into your dough by hand. I went with four medium to large sized cloves in my 500g. loaf. I think I could have doubled that though and been fine(the garlic flavor I got was mild and subtle).
All in all this loaf was quite delicious and I would definitely bake it again especially if I was making bread for an Italian dinner.